Identity Crime Reports Drop 16% Annually but Job Scams Surge

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Reports of identity compromise, theft and misuse in the US fell by 16% year-on-year (YoY) in 2023, but digital thieves already have enough personal information for their needs, a non-profit has warned.

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) has been helping victims of identity-related crimes for over two decades. Its latest 2023 Trends in Identity Report is based on these interactions last year.

Of the total number of identity crimes recorded, 53% were related to compromised credentials, 38% to actual misuse and 2% to attempted misuse.

Although the headline number (10,904) of identity crimes fell, the non-profit warned that:

  • Identity thieves are getting better at tricking their victims, most likely thanks to generative AI (GenAI)
  • Victims are facing more “severe” types of identity misuse, which can take longer to resolve
  • Scammers already have enough personal information to open new credit lines and accounts in their victim names, thanks to previous breaches, scams and oversharing on social media

GenAI is supercharging job-related scams in particular. The ITRC recorded a 118% YoY increase in attempts to trick applicants into handing over sensitive personal and financial information, by masquerading as a prospective employer. These often begin on LinkedIn or job search platforms, the report claimed.

Read more on identity crimes: Identity Crimes Remain at All-Time High in 2022

However, job scams still only comprise 9% of the total recorded by the ITRC last year. The majority were Google Voice scams (60%), which are usually conducted over social media, although this is a 16% decrease on 2022 figures.

“The latest information gleaned from speaking with victims, as well as data from our other reports, shows an environment where identity criminals are more effective, efficient and successful in launching attacks,” argued ITRC CEO, Eva Velasquez.

“The result is fewer victims reporting these crimes. However, the impact on people and businesses is arguably more damaging at a time when there are too many identity crime victims and too few resources to help them.”

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